The Hopkirk Research Institute hosts researchers working in the area of on-farm and off-farm research. By utilising cutting edge technology researchers are developing better strategies and solutions to improve animal health and food safety to better support our primary and food industries.

Areas of Research

Research teams from AgResearch and Massey University are led by internationally recognised researchers.

Our multi-disciplinary research involves integrated science teams, as well as collaboration with external science groups, with the aim of developing new vaccines and advanced diagnostic technologies to improve farm management systems. An important part of our remit is to establish and maintain strong links with national and international stakeholders, particularly those in the pastoral sector of Aotearoa.

These programmes include:

  • Immunology of infectious diseases
  • Vaccine development to mitigate methane
  • Disease-associated novel biomarkers (microRNAs)
  • Food safety
  • Emerging technologies in food safety and assurance
  • Predictive modelling
  • Advanced diagnostics
  • Parasitology
  • Veterinary public health
  • One-Health: where human, veterinary and environmental research can interact.

Collaboration with Massey University

The institute comprises scientists from both AgResearch and Massey University who collaborate on projects that utilise combined skills in areas including:

  • Developing effective vaccines to combat animal infectious disease, including bovine tuberculosis, Johne's disease, mastitis and pneumonia
  • Researching greenhouse gas mitigation methodology, focussed on vaccines
  • Food microbiology; food safety and shelf-life
  • Development and validation of antimicrobial interventions and technologies
  • Environmental microbiology; zoonoses, sources and effects on ecosystems
  • Identification of micro-organisms involved in fermentations, probiotics, and bioremediation
  • Emerging technologies such as light disinfection, cold plasma and hyperspectral imaging
  • Advanced diagnostic platforms for veterinary and food safety area
  • Researching and evaluating solutions for the sustainable control of parasitic diseases, primarily in sheep and cattle
  • Investigating the immune response of animals to health, disease, nutrition and welfare.

Where we are

The Hopkirk Research Institute is situated on Massey University's Turitea campus at Palmerston North. You can find us adjacent to Massey's Institute for Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences.

Click here to find us

Massey University Campus Map

Our facilities

The award winning building supports the processes and procedures that are integral to world-class research. The building has six labs on each of the two main floors run at a Physical Containment 2 (PC2) level of containment and another three run at PC3, providing a safe environment for critical research involving restricted biological materials and highly pathogenic microorganisms (Risk Group 3 micro-organisms) such as Mycobacterium bovis and Mycoplasma bovis.

The Hopkirk Research Institute is equipped with cutting-edge instrumentation providing options for a number of commercial services. These instruments are also available for use by external researchers.

Nanostring nCounter: Nanostring facility (one of three in NZ) providing miRNAs and mRNA expression analysis using this novel technology to various organisations (Plant & Food and the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research).

Flow cytometry facility: Equipped with latest Cytek Aurora spectral analyser capable of running 26 colours in a single panel to characterise functional immune cells.

Commercial services

We offer the following services:

  • Bovine Tb diagnostics for OSPRI, TBfree
  • CARLA testing for Beef and Lamb and Deer Industry New Zealand
  • Food quality testing for the New Zealand meat industry
  • Mycoplasma bovis testing for the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Get in touch with our team

Contact us

Send an email to one of our team or check out our facilities located across Aotearoa New Zealand.

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